Manager at Humber’s Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Diversity
Student at the University of Guelph-Humber
Humber College’s consistent efforts towards building an inclusive and diverse community in their institution are evident through staff and student experiences.
Toronto’s Humber College is committed to promoting and continually working for equity, diversity and inclusion on-campus and off. In support of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, Humber strives to create an environment where staff and students are comfortable bringing all aspects of themselves to work and the learning environment/experience. Not only does diversity enhance the quality of life across campus, but it helps increase academic achievement and improves retention rates.
Supporting inclusion and diversity with dedicated services
The College’s LGBTQ+ Resource Centre runs a wide range of programs to promote a safer and more inclusive learning and living environment for Humber and University of Guelph-Humber students. The programs are all created for and run by students: QTALK facilitates conversations and provides resources for discussion; Transgressions is a space exclusively for trans students; and Q.B.A.C is focused on the intersectionality between the LGBTQ+ community and those of Black, African and Caribbean descent.
Ashana Dublin, a fourth-year student in the Bachelor of Applied Science – Justice Studies program at the University of Guelph-Humber and a Humber Student Leader, credits the LGBTQ+ Resource Centre with helping them feel a sense of community during their time at Humber. “I grew up in the Caribbean, in a household that didn’t approve of my identity, and in a country where it’s against the law to be part of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s been difficult to find a place that feels like home, but the moment I walked into the Resource Centre, I was in an environment where I felt comfortable with myself,” they say.
Humber College also strives to create a safer and more inclusive environment for its faculty and staff.
“Our goal is to engage the Humber community in broad conversations around issues like 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion, and also provide training on topics like gender equality and diversity, human rights, and how to create equitable spaces,” says Adam Benn, manager at Humber’s Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Diversity.
Recently, the Centre launched a 2SLGBTQ+ employee resource group (ERG) for Humber and University of Guelph-Humber staff. The ERG works to support Humber’s goal of improving campus culture through inclusivity, and offer staff opportunities for professional development and community outreach. “It’s a way for us to improve visibility around the issue of 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion, and also an opportunity to connect our Humber faculty to the student community and events,” says Benn, who co-leads the ERG.
Pride Month programming continues virtually
As the majority of classes are still virtual, Humber’s Pride Month programming will once again be online.
“This year, our dedicated ERG, working alongside many campus partners like the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, will be leading Pride activities,” says Benn. A virtual flag-raising ceremony of both the Pride and Trans flags marked the beginning of Pride Month on June 1. A month-long ‘Display of Pride’ challenge encourages students and faculty to decorate their spaces in a sustainable way, and there is a weekly online speaker series geared toward staff and faculty. The Humber Literary Review and the 2SLGBTQ+ ERG are also hosting the inaugural Pride Literary Panel titled “Lifting Up Queer Voices” to showcase 2SLGBTQ+ writers and engage in conversations about the intersection of queer identity and writing.
Empowering students and staff
Diversity and inclusion programming at Humber College is accessible to all students and staff — from a dedicated employee resource group, to a student resource centre and collaborative events.